North Korean reshuffle underscores focus on domestic stability

North Korean reshuffle underscores focus on domestic stability

North Korea's new parliament on Wednesday rubber-stamped a reshuffle of top positions in the ruling party and Cabinet, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

The Supreme People's Assembly elected Choe Ryong-hae, the military's top political officer, as a new vice chairman of the North's most powerful body, the National Defence Commission ― a post that had been vacant following last year's bloody purge of Jang Song-thaek, leader Kim Jong-un's once-powerful uncle.

The North also appointed Ri Su-yong, a former ambassador to Switzerland, as foreign minister to replace Pak Ui-chun. Defence Minister Jang Jong-nam became a new member of the NDC.

Kim was reaffirmed as first chairman of the NDC in a show of "absolute support and trust of all service personnel and people in him." Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the SPA, and Premier Pak Pong-ju also retained their jobs in an apparent sign that Pyongyang is seeking stability amid tensions with Seoul and Washington.

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